Sebastian Vettel praised his Aston Martin team for performing a “miracle” repair job on its two cars after practice crashes left him and team-mate Lance Stroll at risk of missing qualifying for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix.
Vettel and Stroll both caused red flags when they crashed independently in final practice, leaving the team just two hours to repair the damaged cars before qualifying.
For Stroll, the effort was in vain as he collided with Nicholas Latifi's Williams before setting a lap, albeit with the knock-on effect that the resultant red flag enabled Vettel's car to be fully repaired and take to the track in the final two minutes of Q1.
“We had quite a lot of damage and it was a miracle we got out on track with both cars,” hailed Vettel.
"I think we did an incredible job, a really great team effort, and now we see what we can do tomorrow.”
Aston Martin working as hard as the rest
This season has been disappointing for Aston Martin so far as the team has slipped towards the back after failing to capitalise on the opportunities presented by new regulations that have shuffled the order.
In Melbourne, Vettel and Stroll will start 18th and 20th respectively, compounding their woes but not for the lack of effort according to the German driver.
“The work that is going in is the same from our side as the teams at the front, it’s not like we’re working less," added Vettel.
"If anything we just don’t get the reward because we are at the back of the field. It will be a tough race, we know we are not very quick, but we will fight.
"[The weekend has been] very short, very little running, but hopefully we will get a lot of running tomorrow and more time in the car.”